The Palestinians are seeking recognition from the UN as a non-voting observer state, up from a simple observer – a modest objective one would think.
According to President Obama, Palestine gaining unilateral statehood recognition from the UN “would destabilize the region and undermine peace efforts”. A statement divorced from reality if you’re living in Gaza or the ever shrinking Arab portion of the West Bank. The region was destabilized a long time ago, and if you’ve seen the Middle East in the news recently, stability is not a word that first comes to mind.
Our president suggests that the Palestinian leaders should return to the negotiating table so that a peaceful solution can be achieved. It should be expected that Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas will ignore this token request in the same manner Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has by moving full speed ahead on settlement expansion, the very condition that the Palestinians demand in order to resume talks.
Sadly, nothing of any real significance will come about even if the UN votes to recognize the Palestine as a state, the land they hold will shrink and day by day the situation will worsen. History has proven that negotiations that respect the rights of the Palestinians have little in the way of substance, such as: the British Mandate of Palestine, the Balfour( and Lord Milner) Declaration, the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement and the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine have not boded well for the Arabs in Palestine.
The Earl of Balfour included this clause in the declaration that bore his name:
“…nothing should be done which might prejudice the rights of the non-Jewish communities...”
This included not only the Arabs but the many Christians who called Palestine their rightful home.
Can it be said today that nothing has been done which might prejudice the non-Jewish communities during the course of Israel’s expansion beyond the 1967 borders?